As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of people are working and sheltering at home. Although no one even heard of it a year ago, social distancing is a crucial step in reducing the transmission of this very contagious and dangerous virus.
Gardening is the perfect social distancing activity.
Cabin fever can set in with everyone trying to stay home, and some people may think this cure may be worse than the disease. It is definitely not, and gardening can help make it enjoyable.
March 1 was the meteorological first day of spring, and I found my thoughts wandering to those summer annuals I love so well. One of my cool-season favorites doesn’t last long past the last days of spring, but I know I have summer replacement.
Angelonia is a close relative of snapdragon that blooms all summer and into the fall. It is hard to believe that a plant in the snapdragon family relishes our summer heat and humidity, but this one does. Angelonia is a fantastic, easy-care annual that doesn’t need deadheading, which is always a positive in my garden choices.
Zinnias are annual flowers that perform extremely well in our hot and humid Mississippi gardens and landscapes. In fact, home gardeners can have these beautiful flowers blooming from May all the way to frost in fall.
One group of zinnias that I can’t get enough of is the Zinnia elegans. These zinnias are the long-stemmed kind that are perfect for the cutting garden.
I’ve promoted the 2020 Mississippi Medallion winners Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry and Luscious lantana for the last three weeks. Now, I want to tell you about the fourth and final 2020 selection, Garden Gem tomato.
This will come as a surprise to the Southern Gardening Nation, but I think I’m starting to like eating fresh tomatoes. I’m certainly looking forward to picking fresh Garden Gem tomatoes this summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of introducing the 2020 Mississippi Medallion Winners at the Gulf States Hort Expo in Mobile, Alabama. This is a special group of selections, as the Mississippi Medallion program is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.
The plants selected for 2020 include Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry, Luscious Series lantana and Garden Gem tomato.
I don’t think you can go wrong with some dianthus in your landscape in 2020.
I love the flower colors that include pink, red, lavenders, white, and bicolors. The foliage of these plants ranges from being grass-like to broader strap-like linear leaves. Plus, the foliage provides contrast with colors ranging from bright green to steely blue-gray.
There are some great selections that will do a fantastic job in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes especially in the cooler months of the year.
In the gym this morning, I noticed there were many, many more people exercising than usual. It struck me that these folks were following through on their New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves for 2020 -- at least for a while.
As we approach the end of the year 2019, I’ve been reflecting on gardens and gardening in general. I wrote several weeks ago about the changing attitudes and current perceptions that home gardeners have about their landscapes and gardens
Winter is finally here, whether you go by the meteorological date of Dec.1 or the upcoming astrological date of Dec. 21. To me, it means that I’m going to enjoy the freshly harvested cool-season greens from my little urban farm.
I love when the calendar strikes December 1, because it means we are officially in the Christmas season. Now, I know it seems like many stores have had their holiday decorations out since before Labor Day, but none of that counts until we get to December.
I am thoroughly thankful I made the move to coastal Mississippi a dozen years ago. One of my truly enjoyable fall pursuits happens after the temperatures have gotten chilly. On bright, sunny fall days, I really like driving on Highway 90 to my office at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi along the Gulf of Mexico.